NEW YORK: US Senator Bernie Sanders kicked off his 2020 presidential campaign as a second-time runner on Saturday in his hometown borough of Brooklyn, New York, reiterating his Democratic socialist views that have been reshaping the Democratic Party.
On the snow-covered campus of Brooklyn College, Sanders, 77, expressed his determination to fight for a “Medicare-for-all” healthcare system and a 15-US-dollar hourly minimum wage, and vowed to address climate change and other priority issues that altogether form a progressive agenda.
The Brooklyn native recalled his childhood living in a rent-controlled apartment as the son of a Polish immigrant who came to the United States without a nickel, saying this experience has well connected him with today’s lower class.
“With your help, we are going to transform this country, and finally create an economy and a government which work for all of us, not just the one percent,” Sanders told thousands of enthusiastic supporters from New York and adjacent states, most of whom were millenials holding a colorful banner with “Bernie” written on it. “Bernie is a special type of candidate that you don’t usually see in U.S. politics. He’s really fighting for everyday people,” said 24-year-old local video producer Carl Straut-Collard. “I trust that he’ll be fighting for me and people who are less well-off.”
Representing the state of Vermont as an independent senator but caucusing with Democrats in Congress, Sanders was first elected to the House of Representatives in 1990 and to the Senate in 2006. He lost to Hillary Clinton after a tight race in the 2016 Democratic Party presidential primaries.